by Pastor Tim Burt
I was having coffee with a close friend, catching up on life. Our conversation drifted from one subject to another. Suddenly we were talking about the Lord and about all the ways He speaks to us in our life. He proceeded to tell a story about he and his wife related to that. My wife wants me to take a trip to a place I have no desire or interest in going to. I went to bed thinking No way, I am not going. I don’t want to and this is one time I am putting my foot down. She can go if she wants but I’m not going. He told me they weren’t fighting about it. They just weren’t in agreement about it but he could feel the pressure of her really wanting him to go with her. One night as he laid down in his bed, he began to pray and thank God for the day. As he was praying, he said the Lord suddenly reminded him of a Bible verse. It was the one where the angel spoke to Joseph and told him not to be afraid to marry Mary because it was true that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. He said, I knew the Lord was speaking to me through that verse. God was changing Joseph’s mind. And right then, I knew he wanted me to change my mind and go on this trip with my wife. He said, Just like that I did a 180 degree turn in my mind and reached over in bed, kissed her, and told her I would come with her. She was shocked but blessed. God settled their dispute through the leading of His Word and Spirit!
This is the advantage Christians can have over people who have not received Jesus as their Lord. We have the Holy Spirit of God living within us to help direct our heart in every situation! The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT “…don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”
The Holy Spirit teaches us the heart of God—His will, His ways, His character, and His love. He will also lead us in our life if we are yielded to Him. Jesus told us of the Holy Spirit that would come and be a part of our lives saying, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him nor or understand Him: but you know Him because He will dwell within you and be with you. “ (John 14:16-17 KJV) Jesus continued telling us more about the Holy Spirit and how He would work in us saying, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.“ (John 16:13-14 NIV)
People imagine all sorts of things about God. We don’t get to created or define God. God will define Himself to us! That’s what makes reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God so important. When the Holy Spirit teaches and speaks to us, He uses scripture. He brings scriptures to our remembrance and then speaks to our heart through it. That way, you aren’t confusing God’s voice with your imagination. Over time you become familiar with God’s voice and how He speaks with and leads you. For example, let’s say in a moment of weakness, you are thinking about looking at or engaging in something that is in appropriate. The Holy Spirit may bring a scripture to your remembrance that says, “Be holy for I am holy.” At that point, you know that God has spoken to you and is trying to help strengthen you; not condemn you. Hopefully then you will make the right choice. Imagine you were getting in an argument with someone and getting a little hot. Suddenly the scripture comes to your remembrance, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11) At that point you know the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, trying to help you calm down.
As we grow and mature spiritually, we learn to hear the voice of God through the scriptures we’ve meditated on over time. The Word of God does speak. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes the very thoughts and attitudes of our heart.”
This is just one way God speaks to our heart and helps us grow and mature. He also speaks to us through our Pastor’s preaching, (which is why it’s critical to go to church), through friends in small groups learning together, and through leaders and mentors God has raised up in our life. Hopefully we grow more and more dependent upon His word and voice every day. Being dependent upon God is not bad, It’s great! Jesus is the one that said to us us, “Without me you can do nothing.” As you spend time praying and seeking God, He will find those ways to speak to you and lead you. This experience is unique to Christians and one of the great mysteries we understand, but the world never will. It is our inheritance in Christ! You are the temple of the Holy Spirit and He wants to lead you in all truth! I hope you know how thankful you should be for this kind of intimacy with God!
Psalms 119:103 (NLT) “How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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